Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hepatitis markers and its usual significance


  • HBsAg

Virus is present.

  • Anti-HBs (surface antibody)

Virus is usually cleared and Patient is immune.

(Presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) signifies the infection with the virus.It doesnot give the information regarding infectivity and the ongoing liver damage.When the virus is cleared from the infected person,antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs)develops.It gives immunity to further virus infection.)

  • HBeAg*

Active viral replication ,ongoing liver disease ,patient infectious.

  • Anti-HBe*

Viral replication reduced ,inactive liver disease (usually),Less infectious.

(HBeAg usually represents that , there is an active viral replication. The disappearance of HBeAg and appearance of anti Hbe usually means that the level of viral replication and the associated liver disease has lessened.The individual is less capable of infecting others.)

  • HBV-DNA

Active viral replication and on going liver disease,patient infectious.

(HBeAg and/or HBV-DNA should be measured , if active viral replication is present.)

  • HBcAg

Never detectable in serum

  • Anti-HBc (core antibody)

(Hepatitis B core antigen (HbcAg) never appears freely in blood. The corresponding antibody (anti-HBc) appears in the blood at about the same time as HBsAg and usually remains for life.It implies that Patient has come into contact with hepatitis B and may or may not still be infected with the virus. Anti HBc does not signify immunity)

IgM anti-HBc Signifies recent contact with hepatitis B


* except for pre-core mutant strains of HBV(the mutant strain of HBV (pre-core mutant) in which the virus cannot manufacture HBeAg and thus the only marker for the presence of the virus core is HBV-DNA.)

Links

Approach to the management of incidentally detected HBsAg carrier

hepatitis markers



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